In the wake of Steven Slater immortalizing himself with spectacular display of flight attendant rebellion, we call our attention to another act of mid-flight attrition: "cropdusting," when flight attendants walk down an airplane aisle and fart in seated passengers' faces.
Last week's New Yorker included an essay by David Sedaris about the universal agonies of commercial air travel. In retrospect, a passage about flight attendant revenge tactics may have been a bit prescient. Your guide to "cropdusting":
Is this an example of Sedaris' fictitious wishful thinking, or is cropdusting a real phenomenon? Logically, it makes sense: There's always a line for the bathroom, and they wouldn't want to fart in the little area with the wheelie carts where they stand, lest their co-workers resent them.
Click to viewBut farting mid-stride in a rumbling airplane is like letting one rip walking down a bustling street in New York: By the time bystanders notice it, you are gone. Like all enclosed vehicles for mass transit, airplanes are known to harbor any number of peculiar odors. (Eau de band-aid and stale graham cracker, in my experience. Buses, on the other hand, smell like diesel fuel and feet.) Reclined in their seats, heads lolling to the side, their captive, passive bodies bloated and cramped—airplane passengers are prime fart targets. Their eyes closed, their mouths open and drooling, they will stir ever so slightly in the vulnerable aisle seats. Was it a fart that floated there, or was it all a dream?
Somewhere on the internet, a new fetish industry is born.